Because Sharing is Caring

little_chef_1280x800-02Tips, hints, tricks, and little kitchen ‘hacks’ learned along the way and shared with you… please feel free to share your hints with me. Let’s talk about scaling fish…

  • Keep them wet
    Keep the fish wet until you scale them. If they have dried out, soak them a few minutes in ice water before scaling to make the scales easier to remove.
  • If they are from the market… do it now
    If you’re buying a whole fish from the market, clean it as soon as you get home, rather than storing it in the refrigerator. You should also plan to eat it the same day you buy it
  • Set up a table outdoors and cover it with newspaper
    Try to find a table high enough to work comfortably on, that can be rinsed easily with a garden hose when you are finished
  • Gather your supplies before you begin
    Set out a bucket for the fish parts, gloves if you want to wear them, a sharp cutting knife, and a container for the cleaned fish. If you have a lot of fish to clean, set out a cooler full of ice to keep the cleaned fish cold
  • Begin scaling the fish
    Hold it firmly by the head and scrape the scales from the tail toward the gills with a butter knife or scaling tool. Test for the right pressure; the scales should come loose easily and fly off.

    • Keep the strokes of your scaler short and quick. Avoid pressing too hard and gashing the fish
    • Work carefully around the fins, since they can prick or puncture your skin
    • Be sure to remove all of the scales from both sides of the fish. Don’t forget the scales around the pectoral and dorsal fins, and up to the throat, which is the edge of the fish’s gills
    • Rinse the fish, put it in the cooler, repeat!

So, a couple of hints, tips, take what you like and leave the rest… speaking of leaving… leave a comment to share one of YOUR tips!

Thank You!

Because Sharing is Caring

little_chef_1280x800Tips, hints, tricks, and little kitchen ‘hacks’ learned along the way and shared with you… please feel free to share your hints with me. Let’s talk stock…

  • Stock is its own creation
    A liquid concentration of meaty bones and aromatics. When made from scratch its a creation all its own.
  • Size the Vegetables
    When cutting vegetables to cook with bones, use smaller diced vegetables for quicker cooking chicken stock and larger chunks of vegetables when using large bones for beef stock.
  • No need to season stock
    Stock is itself an ingredient in a dish that will be seasoned.
  • Always be skimming
    remove the impurities and concentrate the flavor. to that end…
  • Do not boil stock
    Boiling pushes the impurities back down to the bottom on the liquid.

So, a couple of hints, tips, take what you like and leave the rest… speaking of leaving… leave a comment to share one of YOUR tips!

Thank You!

Because Sharing is Caring 3

Tips, hints, tricks, and little kitchen ‘hacks’ learned along the way and shared with you… please feel free to share your hints with me… These tips are taken from the book “Notes on Cooking” by Costello and Reich chapter on recipes…

  • Read the Recipe
    As the book says, turn off the TV! Sit and read the recipe without distractions and make a note of the ingredients, equipment and tools needed.
  • Re-read the Recipe
    Read the recipe and let your imagination ponder options…
  • Read a couple of Recipes
    I found this to be a great idea. If you’re cooking a big entree or even a little appetizer or desert, you may want to read a couple of different recipes to see how different cooks approach the same recipe.
  • If it’s in the title, leave it alone!
    its nice to improvise with ingratiates and make inspired substitutions… instead of topping the mashed turnips with bacon, use parmesan cheese.. but, as the book says, recipes are designed around core flavors, if you are considering a recipe for beef bourguignon, and you don’t care for beef or burgundy wine… pick another recipe.
  • Do not be surprised by surprising results
    There are so many variable in cooking, from the humidity in the room to temperature differences in ovens, you cannot control everything and sometimes this results in variations in the end result…. Mangia!

So, a couple of hints, tips, take what you like and leave the rest… speaking of leaving… leave a comment to share one of YOUR tips!

Thank You!

Spam with Less Sodium

Because Sharing is Caring 02

Tips, hints, tricks, and little kitchen ‘hacks’ learned along the way and shared with you… please feel free to share your hints with me…

  • Go Slow
    To save time, avoid injuries, and cook better… slow down! Don’t be in a rush, making harried actions. First master the basics, especially where knives are concerned, and then earn speed as an external expression of internal fluency.
  • Use a cold pan for butter
    Heat the pan and the butter together. Adding cold butter to a hot pan will burn the butter due to its dairy component. Burnt butter is toxic, throw it out and start again.
  • Use a hot pan for oil
    Add oil to an already heated pan. The oil will be hot enough to cook your food in seconds, but not yet hot enough to smoke the oil. When it does smoke the oil becomes toxic, throw it out and start again.
  • Rest that Bird!
    When cooking whole poultry, let it rest before carving. This gives the juices in the bird enough time to redistribute within the flesh making for juicer slices and little juicy mess in the carving board.
  • Eat!
    Just as a good writer should read, a good cook should eat. Mangia!

So, a couple of hints, tips, take what you like and leave the rest… speaking of leaving… leave a comment to share one of YOUR tips!

Thank You!

little_chef_1280x800-02

Because Sharing is Caring…

Tips, hints, tricks, and little kitchen ‘hacks’ learned along the way and shared with you… please feel free to share your hints with me…

The first one come from watching ‘Good Eats’.

  • Avoid buying single-use gadgets
    too often they truly become useless.. good knife skills will save you from shelling out money on a garlic press, and you can do a better job with a good knife. But in all honesty, I do have a small apple corer, but I do core a lot of apples, so…
  • Invest in a good quality knife
    one good durable knife will save you from shelling out a small fortune buying multiple ‘cheep’ knives. So far my Henckels have been sharpened and honed and still going strong some twelve years after I bought them.
  • Set your pantry for a FIFO system
    canned goods should be no different from frsh goods, put the oldest ones in front and the newer ones behind. Use the First In First Out system, and if you label things with their purchase dates, you can use this system in your freezer too
  • Buy groceries for your menu
    when it comes to fresh produce, build your shopping list around your menu to avoid buying things that you ‘intend’ to use but don’t actually use and instead toss…
  • ABS!
    always be skimming… when it comes to preparing stock, always be skimming, and… don’t boil the stock, simmer the stock. Boiling drives te impurities that you are trying to skim back to the bottom of the pot whereas simmering the stock draws the impurities to the surface… we you are waiting to pounce

So, a couple of hints, tips, take what you like and leave the rest… speaking of leaving… leave a comment to share one of YOUR tips!

Thank You!

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